It was the Devin Booker show tonight in Minnesota, as the Suns All-Star guard exploded for 43 points to lead the Suns to their 22nd win of the season.
Phoenix made yet another change to the starting lineup, reinserting Franky Kaminsky to the lineup after starting Jae Crowder on Friday night against Chicago.
The Suns figure to continue to make these decisions matchup based and both Jae and Frank will have to be ready on any given night for whatever direction Monty Williams decides to go.
The Suns traded shots early against the Wolves as it was a back and forth affair in the first quarter. There wasn’t much separation created by either team and it seemed like the Suns were about to sleepwalk through another game against a lesser opponent.
Phoenix took a 30-to-26 lead heading into the 2nd quarter thanks to a Dario Saric step-back three to close the opening frame.
Devin Booker turned it up a notch in the second, putting up 14 points in the 2nd quarter— giving him 20 heading into the half.
Deandre Ayton chipped in with 8 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 assist and played solid defense on Karl-Anthony Towns, limiting him to just 8 points on four shot attempts, with three of those points coming immediately off the first shot of the game.
Turnovers were a major issue in the first half, as the Suns committed 10 turnovers as a team, and as Kellan notes in the tweet below, eight different players contributed to the cause.
Eight different Suns players have a turnover at the end of the half— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) March 1, 2021
Heading into the half, the Suns led by the score of 53-48, outscoring the Wolves by one point in the second quarter.
The Suns looked a lot more locked in to begin the third quarter on both sides of the floor with improved engagement jumping out to a 9 point lead in the first couple minutes.
From that point, the reoccurring issues of turnovers hit them and they went back into sleepwalk mode as the Wolves cut the lead down to 3, forcing Monty Williams to call a timeout.
Turnovers continued to hurt Phoenix and keep Minnesota alive, as they had five quick TO’s in the first 6:30 of the quarter.
Chris Paul had 11 assists in his first 23 minutes, including this gem to Mikal Bridges for the and-one.
Devin Booker was locked in yet again, dropping 21 points in the 3rd quarter to bring his game total to 41 points.
Devin Booker is just a flat out scoring savant.— Zona (@AZSportsZone) March 1, 2021
41 points on 24 shots with 12 minutes left to go.
Jae Crowder had a rough first three quarters, as he was 0-for-4 with 3 turnovers and 0 points in 17 minutes.
The supporting cast was off from a scoring perspective outside of Deandre Ayton’s 12 points, he was the only player on the Suns with double figures through three quarters of play.
Heading into the 4th and final quarter, the Suns led 86-to-76.
Dario Saric started strong with a pair of threes to open the quarter to stretch the Suns lead out to 15.
The start of the fourth quarter the Suns really started to pull away, extending the lead to 17 after a Chris Paul pull-up that led to a Minnesota timeout.
Paul and Saric thrived with Booker on the bench to start the 4th and final quarter.
The Suns outscored Minnesota by 13 points in the 2nd half, and were able to clear the bench early after it looked like it could be a dogfight through the first 24 minutes.
Deandre Ayton had a tremendous night defensively on Towns and also chipped in with 22 points and 10 rebounds on 9/11 shooting.
Phoenix has the Lakers on TNT on Tuesday in a game against two heavy hitters out West.
Star of the Game
Devin Booker- 43 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 block on 15/26 shooting.
Up next: @ Los Angeles Lakers (8 PM on TNT)